The MoJ have now ‘clarified’ the position and published a new list of those “Self-employed advocates who have [applied for and] been accredited for VHCC cases has been provided to solicitors to assist them in exercising their duty to secure representation for their clients.* “.
The note reads “Please note that the circumstances of the individuals identified in the list may have changed e.g. they may no longer be a member of the chambers listed.”
Expect various revisions as more people on the list drop out (and maybe new people are added?).
“If a solicitor has contacted the LAA to say that they can’t find or don’t know many barristers or can’t find one to work at the new rate, the LAA has given them a list of barristers who have worked generally on VHCCs.”
In a further statement the MoJ added: “Rumours of a ‘secret’ list are completely unfounded. We provided a list of self-employed advocates who have been accredited for VHCC cases when solicitors asked for it.
It is not a list of advocates who will work at the new rate and never has been presented as such. As always, an advocate has discretion to accept or refuse instructions.”
Apparently “She said the list of accredited advocates has been in the public domain, but that the LAA would put a message clarifying the position on its website. She also explained that solicitors can instruct advocates not on the list and the LAA will then accredit them.“